Telenor Group has been informed that the Myanmar Investment Commission has given final regulatory approval to the sale of Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group. During the regulatory approval process the Myanmar authorities made it a condition that M1 Group should have a local partner in the ownership of Telenor Myanmar after the transaction between Telenor and M1 closes.
“Telenor has to leave Myanmar to be able to adhere to our own values on human rights and responsible business, and because local laws in Myanmar conflict with European laws. The security situation is extreme and deteriorating, and we must ensure that our exit does not increase the safety risk for employees. With limited options available, the sale of Telenor Myanmar is deemed to be the most realistic alternative to keep our employees safe. Because of the current situation, we are significantly constrained in our choices and with this approval the transaction can be finalised. Telenor has not been party to any dialogue between M1 and its local partner,” says Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.
Telenor’s sales agreement is with M1 Group alone, and this has remained unchanged during the approval process. However, the regulatory approval requires that M1 ensures a local majority owner after the closing of the transaction between Telenor and M1. Telenor has confirmed to the regulator that the sales agreement between Telenor and M1 does not prevent M1 from entering a local partnership. M1 has informed Telenor that its local partner Shwe Byain Phyu has acquired 49 percent of Investcom, the Singapore-based company set up by M1 for the purchase of Telenor Myanmar. After the transaction closes between M1 and Telenor, M1 will sell additional 31 percent of Investcom shares to Shwe Byain Phyu. Telenor has not been involved in any discussions between M1 and their local partner. Sanctions screening from external consultants has assured Telenor that Shwe Byain Phyu and its owners are not subject to any current international sanctions.
“We are deeply saddened for the society and people of Myanmar who are experiencing an extremely difficult situation. Leaving Myanmar was a decision we made with heavy hearts, and I would like to thank our employees and customers for their dedication to Telenor throughout our years in Myanmar,” continues Brekke.
Telenor is in dialogue with M1 Group to ensure that customers, partners, and employees experience a smooth transition, and will close the transaction as soon as possible. The business will continue to operate under the brand name Telenor Myanmar for four months and have a transition service agreement with Telenor for six months.